Holden Roberto arrives at Shannon's Forward Command Post
From Shannon's perspective the conference with Roberto was deeply disturbing.
Although his forces were at the gates of Luanda Shannon was acutely aware of two growing problems - the lack of supplies, chiefly fuel, and stiffening MPLA resistance. To commit to an attack on the capital now was, in the view of the Anglo-Irish mercenary, fraught with risk.
He had established links with the self styled 'Commadante Zero', a guerilla leader who professed loyalty to the FNLA and who was operating in the area around Luanda. Zero was unequivocal, the FNLA cadres in the city had been massacred, the population was more likely to support the MPLA than any attacking FNLA force, there were rumours of more Cuban troops arriving any day now.
Shannon counselled caution but Roberto was adamnant: the advance must be resumed as soon as a convoy carrying fuel and beer arrived. This was due within the next 48 hours. History would wait for no man, the hour had come and Luanda was ready to be taken and an FNLA government installed.